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Bethany Williams wins BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund

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courtesy of the British Fashion Council – Bethany Williams

The British Fashion Council has announced London-based fashion designer Bethany Williams as the 2021 winner of the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund.

Williams wins a cash prize of 200,000 pounds, alongside bespoke mentoring to help take her business to the “next level”.

Edward Enninful, editor-in-chief of British Vogue, European editorial director of Vogue, and chair of the Fund Committee, said in a statement: “Congratulations to Bethany Williams for receiving the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund for 2021. Bethany is an extraordinary talent who brings a depth to her process that is nothing short of inspirational.

“On top of her substantial gifts as a designer, she has rethought the way her collections are made, working with women who are homeless or in prison, among others, using her business to bring training and support. She really is a marvel.”

Williams was shortlisted for the 2021 prize alongside Alighieri, Asai, Chopova Lowena, Completedworks, E.L.V. Denim, Halpern, Kwaidan Editions, Olubiyi Thomas, Richard Malone and Supriya Lele, all of which will also receive a full mentoring programme through the BFC’s business support team.

BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund announces 2021 winner as Bethany Williams

Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council, added: “Bethany’s brand is a real example of a sustainable and conscious business, and as a designer, she is constantly finding new innovative design solutions to sustainability.

“All shortlisted designers deserved the prize, but the judging panel was particularly impressed by Bethany’s exceptional talent for using recycled deadstock and organic materials made in the UK and her ways of collaborating with communities and charities, aiming to shape the industry towards thinking more ethically. I cannot wait to see her business grow even more.”

The BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund was established in 2008 to celebrate “exceptional talent and to empower the designers to play their part in positive growth”.

Previous winners include Wales Bonner, Molly Goddard, Mother of Pearl and Palmer//Harding, Sophia Webster, Mary Katrantzou, Peter Pilotto, Nicholas Kirkwood, Jonathan Saunders, Christopher Kane and Erdem.

The Fund is part of the British Foundation, which brings all the BFC’s charitable infinitives under one umbrella, and receives the support of British Vogue, Burberry, Clearpay and Paul Smith.

The 2020 BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund cash prize was split across the six shortlisted brands for the very first time due to the Covid-19 pandemic. These were Alighieri, Charles Jeffrey Loverboy, David Koma, Halpern, Métier and Rejina Pyo.

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Fashion

Nilit partners with The Ocean Foundation

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Image: Sensil Facebook

Nylon brand Nilit has partnered with The Ocean Foundation on its Blue Resilience Initiative.

Joining The Ocean Foundation’s Blue Resilience Initiative, the collaboration aims to protect essential ocean meadows and other coastal habitats. According to Nilit, marine grasslands are being damaged at the rate of two football fields per hour. As important oceanic ecosystems, the grasslands help to reduce global warming by taking CO2 from the atmosphere.

Nilit, which also owns sustainable brand Sensil, has previously stated that protecting the oceans and reducing CO2 is part of its Total Product Sustainability Program. Recently, it reduced CO2 emissions at its main facility, and has utilised clean energy techniques at its manufacturing plants.

“NILIT and The Ocean Foundation can affect both sides of the ocean health equation and, together, make a more substantial impact on the well-being of our oceans and our planet,” said head of global marketing at Nilit, Sagee Aran.

The Ocean Foundation’s Blue Resilience Initiative focuses on coastal reconstruction and providing carbon offsets for foundations, corporations, donors and events. Its work notes the ecological and social impact that coastal areas have on the world, with man made infrastructure degrading nature’s natural defense mechanisms. The Blue Initiative seeks to restore and protect these coastal habitats.

“We are excited to join in The Ocean Foundation’s crucial work to protect the marine ecosystems that sustain life in the oceans and on land,” said Aran. “The Ocean Foundation investment, we have expanded our vision far beyond the traditional supply chain structure so that we can more rapidly and effectively bring about positive environmental impact.”

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Nordstrom and Nike partner with Black Owned Everything

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Image: Nordstrom x Nike x Black Owned Everything
Image: Nordstrom x Nike x Black Owned Everything

Multibrand retailer Nordstrom has launched a partnership with marketplace Black Owned Everything, a platform promoting Black-owned businesses, and its founder Zerina Akers.

The collaboration sees Akers and Nordstrom come together on a curated selection featuring four Black-owned brands, displayed alongside new Nike and Jordan collections in the Nordstrom x Nike dedicated online space.

Labels included in the curation are William Okpo, Sammy B, L’Enchanteur and handbag designer Brandon Blackwood.

Image: Nordstrom x Nike x Black Owned Everything
Image: Nordstrom x Nike x Black Owned Everything

“When we launched Black Owned Everything back in February of this year, partnerships like Nordstrom x Nike were exactly the type of activations I had in mind to amplify the reach of the Black designers whom I work with and mentor,” said Akers, in a release.

She continued: “This intersection of well-established brands and emerging designers is where the progress of Black Owned Everything’s mission takes place.

“The inclusion of these selected designers is a big step for their individual career paths and an even bigger step in the right direction for the American marketplace and beyond.

Image: Nordstrom x Nike x Black Owned Everything
Image: Nordstrom x Nike x Black Owned Everything

“This curation is a fun mix of fashion and lifestyle pieces for the people who are keen to street trends and enjoy functionality.”

Simultaneous with the online presence of the collection, Black Owned Everything merchandise will also be available at four Nordstrom x Nike pop-ups in US-based Nordstrom stores.

Image: Nordstrom x Nike x Black Owned Everything
Image: Nordstrom x Nike x Black Owned Everything
Image: Nordstrom x Nike x Black Owned Everything
Image: Nordstrom x Nike x Black Owned Everything
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Sustainable flea market site Farly to launch in UK

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Image: Farly
Image: Farly

Fashion marketplace Farly has announced it is set to launch in the UK on November 11, bringing its flea market approach of resale to new vintage-loving consumers.

Marketed as a virtual flea market, the site hopes to reinvent shopping in a fun and carefully curated way. Its concept revolves around virtual shop windows and mood boards intended to inspire visitors.

Farly looks to appeal to independent sellers, small retailers, artists and curators, providing potential users with the option to design their own shop window through image uploads and editing tools, helping to enhance their offering.

Image: Farly
Image: Farly

“As the world prepares for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) summit this November, the importance of climate change and looking after our planet has been more prominent than ever,” stated Farleigh Hungerford, Farly’s founder, in a release.

She continued: “Farly only encourages the sale of vintage, pre-loved and second-hand items and we really encourage sellers to have sustainability at heart, from packaging to thinking about the origin of the product all the way to the end of the items’ life cycle.

“Farly adds to this message with the core values at the heart of the business, encouraging users to re-use, recycle and restyle.”

The platform will also feature a reward system, called Farly Points, where sellers can earn points through promoting sales from curated items in their virtual shop windows. Building up points can contribute to discounts for users with the monetisation of their displays.

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